By Miranda Paul
Happy Earth Day!
Spring is finally here!
No more waiting!
A while back, I wrote a post about all the waiting that writers do. (I also wrote about how long Wisconsinites wait for spring.) We have to be patient; things happen slowly. In writing, here are long stretches in between hearing from agents or editors.
But then, when it rains, it pours.
As rain continues to saturate my muddy lawn, requests continue to saturate my inbox. This happens to writers, especially when you have multiple books releasing in the same year from different publishers. All in a day, you might open your email to find unexpected first-peek illustration spreads for a book, back matter notes from an editor, a request for an author bio on a different book, and a response from a new submission. More often than not, this will happen on a holiday weekend or the first day of a vacation. And while you're in the middle of a work-for-hire job. Because, well, that's life.
And, let's be honest, it's an exciting life.
I've learned to "roll with it." Whatever the weather (figurative or literal), one of the best things you can do is train yourself to be flexible. Anticipate and plan for what you know is coming, but have some resources available should you receive an unexpected downpour of tasks. (Hint: These resources might include emergency babysitters, to-do list notepads, coffee, several short bios of yourself written in third-person, a professional headshot, and phone numbers of your mentors and gurus who have "been there" and can offer quick advice).
The most important thing to remember is that April showers bring May flowers. Total cliché, I know. But this April, my "showers" are producing next spring's books. Now, back to work!
Miranda Paul has learned the art of flexibility through traveling, mothering, and teaching. She is the author of One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of The Gambia (Millbrook, 2015), Water is Water (Neal Porter Books, 2015), and Helping Hands (Millbrook, 2016). In addition to being an instructor for the Children's Book Academy’s course on grammar, she is the founder and administrator of RateYourStory.org, an online service dedicated to helping writers prepare their manuscripts for submission. Follow her on Twitter (@Miranda_Paul) or visit her website at www.MirandaPaul.com.
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